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Book Review: On Philosophising, Philosophers, Philosophy and New Vistas in Applied Philosophy, by Dr. Sharmila Jayant Virkar

A little bit of context before you begin reading this book review. I have recently enrolled for an MA in Philosophy at the University of Mumbai. Philosophy is something I have been getting interested in, over the past few years, as those of you who have been reading my blogs and Instagram posts would know. During the pandemic, I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do next, and this is what I eventually came up with. It has been a challenge, getting back into academics as a student at this age, especially in a subject I have no academic background in. However, it has also been very exciting, especially thanks to my wonderful classmates (who, surprisingly, are of all age-groups, including some quite near my own) and my teachers, who have been very supportive and understanding. How well I will do is something that remains to be seen, but so far, I am enjoying this new journey and look forward to where it leads. Now that you know the background , you probably get an idea of how

Around Tirupati - Kanipakkam

The temple of Varasiddhi Vinayaka at Kanipakkam is one I have seen grow over the last few years I have been there. When I visited the temple this time, I found myself wishing that I had taken photos of the temple on my earlier visits (which, incidentally were before I began blogging!), for this time I was advised to leave the camera in the vehicle itself!


Image from the internet

The legend of the temple relates to three brothers, of whom, one was deaf, one was dumb and one was blind. They tilled their land together and made a living. When their well dried up, they dug another well, but were stumped when they were unable to dig further than a particular level. When they tried harder, the iron spade hit a stone which began to ooze out blood! The minute the blood oozed out, the brothers lost their deformities, and were stunned to see the sight! The villagers were amazed, and attempted to deepen the well further to see the origin of the blood. Finally, from the waters emerged an idol of Lord Ganesha, who is named ‘Varasiddhi Vinayaka’ because he makes wishes come true.

Image from the Internet

For many years, only a portion of the idol was visible, and all attempts to dig further were useless. However, over the years, more and more of the idol is being seen, something which is proved by the fact that the original kavacham (mask) for the idol no longer fits it! Some portion of the idol is still in the well, though, and water can be seen in the main sanctum even now!

When I first visited the temple, we were among the few pilgrims there, and the priest happily showed us the water swirling around the idol. The old kavacham was displayed outside the sanctum and it was quite apparent that the idol had grown. On this trip (almost 5 to 6 years after my first visit), there were a lot more changes – the temple was much bigger than I remembered it to be; the queues were much, much longer, there was a special darshan ticket for Rs.100; there were not one, but two smaller kavachams outside, now displayed proudly in a glass case; and there was much less water in the sanctum, which was rather surprising considering that it was pouring heavily outside and the whole temple was wet and slippery! So much for popularity and improvement!!!!

While I cannot help saying that I wish the temple had not changed so much, I do realize that changes are inevitable, especially as more and more people become aware of the place. But I shall always remember it as the temple I saw it first – unknown but remarkable!!

Information:

Kanipakkam is 75 Km from Tirupati and 165 Km from Chennai.
APSRTC runs daily buses between Tirupati and Kanipakkam.

Kanipakkam Temple Website: http://www.kanipakamvinayaka.org/
The temple website is comprehensive, with lots of details about the temple, as well as information about accommodation and seva activities.

Temple Timings: 04:00 AM to 9:30 PM

Comments

  1. Iinteresting.....about the idol of Ganesha.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very beautiful temple... Yes the security keeps on increasing day by day...

    ReplyDelete
  3. thnaks for introducing this place .........

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Haddock: Oh yes... the idol is what interested me first about the place...

    @Arti: thats the problem everywhere... cant recognise half the places thanks to all the new security arrangements

    @Team G square: hope u can visit sometime...

    ReplyDelete

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